BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Leicester celebrated its fifth anniversary on Saturday 8 October 2016 in the presence of Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami from India and hundreds of devotees and well-wishers from around the country.
The theme of the celebrations focused on the Mandir as a ‘labour of love’ and the way it has enriched the lives of so many through devotion, values and seva.
The day started off with the traditional Vedic mahapuja with prayers for world peace and harmony. This was followed by an evening cultural programme that took a capacity gathering on an uplifting journey tracing the history of Satsang activities in Leicester. This covered the earliest gatherings in a home in 1968, the numerous visits of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, earlier mandirs on Doncaster Road and in the City Centre, through to the present day.
The story of how the Mandir came to be was told through a series of insightful sketches, videos and interviews which resonated with the spirit of volunteerism behind the Mandir and Swamishri’s constant care and motivation. Young children through to the elderly all played a part in the inspiring programme.
Speeches highlighted the importance that youth played in building the Mandir and the impact it has had on the wider community. Yogvivek Swami spoke of the key moments in the development of Leicester’s Satsang since its earliest days, recalling especially the contributions and hardships of the pioneering haribhaktas.
In his keynote address, Ishwarcharan Swami emphasised the spiritual significance of upasana sustained through such mandirs and the value of seva.
Lead coordinator of the Mandir, Darshan Patel, added, “It’s so heartening to see how quickly the Mandir has become a valuable part of the local community and we’re deeply grateful to everyone for their kind support and goodwill.”
The evening concluded by paying tribute to His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and praying to Guruhari Mahant Swami Maharaj for his continuing guidance and blessings.